Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 31 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. What constitutes a group?
A. Ten or more people traveling together constitutes a group.
Q. Do I need to book a rail pass for everyone in my traveling party, including children and infants?
A. You will need to book a rail pass for each adult and child. In the case of a saver pass, it’s one rail pass with each traveller’s name listed on the pass. Some rail passes offer free child discounts, the children need to be added to the rail pass at the time of booking, there will be no charge incurred for them, however. While a child under 4 years of age and sharing a seat with an adult does not need to book a rail pass. If the child will occupy his/her own seat, a rail pass must be purchased for them, as well as a reservation when needed.
Q. Are train tickets exchangeable and refundable?
A. It depends. Exchange and refund rules are governed by the kind of fare you booked.
When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare.
Once you have booked a train ticket with us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, as well as printed with your train ticket and/or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets. Please note that train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.
Refunds, when applicable, can only be applied to unused and unvalidated train tickets.
Be sure to view the complete refund and exchange rules for the product you are booking to see any applicable penalty and administrative fees.
If you’ve purchased the Rail Protection Plan to cover your train ticket, you can exchange it for either the same thing or a new product. To start an exchange under the Rail Protection Plan, please contact us via our Contact Us page.
Q. Do trains offer facilities for handicapped passengers?
A. The ability to exchange or refund a train ticket while you’re in Europe depends on whether you have a paper or e-ticket, as well as the specific conditions for the fare you booked.
If you have an e-ticket that you bought on our website, you can perform the refund online, according to the conditions of your train ticket. Please visit our Cancellation and Refund page to begin.
If you purchased a paper ticket, you must perform the exchange locally at the train station. Go to the ticket window and a railway representative will be able to assist you with the exchange procedure.
Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
If your ticket is non-exchangeable, a new train ticket must be purchased.
To obtain a refund for a paper ticket/reservation, a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used” before the original train departure time. Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
You must mail us the original unused ticket for the refund to be processed. When you’ve returned from Europe, mail us back your train ticket. Please visit the Contact Us page on this site for further details.
If you didn’t purchase your train ticket online or are unable to initiate the refund online, please contact us using our Contact Us page for assistance. In most cases, for a refund to transpire, the associated reservation must be released before the train departure.
Q. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.
Q. Can I book a rail pass and a seat reservation at the same time?
A. Absolutely, and we encourage it. Once you’ve added the pass you want to your booking, you will be prompted to make seat reservations for trains you wish to travel on. Alternatively, you can visit the homepage and search schedules, just be sure to check the "I have a rail pass" box.
We always recommend buying your reservations before you depart for Europe because high speed and night trains often have a limited number of seats set aside for rail pass holders, and these seats tend to sell out. So the earlier you secure your reservation, the better.
Q. Can I use more than one credit card to pay for my booking?
A. Yes. You can enter up to 10 different credit cards for a single purchase. At the time of payment, use the “Add additional card” button to display all credit card options. After entering each credit card’s information, you can modify the amount to be charged to each individual card. You’ll need to make sure that the total charged for all credit cards matches the total of your booking.
Q. If my travel party won’t fill the entire compartment, can we buy it out to travel by ourselves?
A. We’re only able to sell train tickets/reservations for beds that will be filled by travellers. If you purchase “extra” beds in a compartment to occupy the space, the conductor can fill empty beds if space is needed, even if the whole compartment has been purchased. No refund is given if a conductor fills an “extra” bed.
Q. What should I do if a strike has been announced in the country I’m traveling to?
A. Typically, a strike only affects a few trains along certain routes. If a strike is called within a country, you may continue your travels if there are train services operating. If your train is affected by a strike, railway officials typically provide accommodations for either alternate train, or in some cases, bus transportation.
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a strike, and alternate transportation has not been offered or if you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used Due to strike” before the original train departure time. Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
This process will allow you to submit that train ticket/reservation for a refund. Please be sure that all refund requests are received by our Customer Relations department within 30-days of the train departure date.
Q. Who should I contact with a question about a special offer?
A. Questions about special offers may be submitted to us by filling in our Contact Form on this website. We will respond within 24-48 hours.